September 2020 Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
More than 10 years ago, two former Pain BC board members, Brenda Poulton and Jan Muir, had a conversation in the basement of Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital that eventually led them to create the now-annual Interdisciplinary Pain Education Day; this conference has grown into one of BC’s most important events to foster ongoing pain education and networking opportunities for health care providers.

In 2016, Pain BC joined Interdisciplinary Pain Education Day as a sponsor and, since then, Pain BC staff, board and committee members have worked closely with Providence Health Care to plan, implement and promote the annual conference. PJ Matras, a Pain BC committee member and donor, has been the architect of the conference’s growth over the past several years. Last year’s sold-out conference focused on “Pain in people experiencing marginalization” and saw the greatest attendance since the event’s inception.

This year’s conference, held virtually for the first time, will take place on October 23, 2020. The one-day conference will match this year’s IASP theme of “Pain prevention and early intervention for chronic pain” and features six live presentations from long-time Pain BC collaborators, including Keith Meldrum, Pain BC’s former Vice Chair and a person with pain. A full list of presenters and topics can be found here.

It’s been remarkable to witness the growth of Interdisciplinary Pain Education Day over the past decade. Health care providers from all over the world are registering for this year’s virtual conference and we’re also seeing much greater interest from people living with pain. I’m optimistic that this will foster greater communication, collaboration and understanding between health care providers and those with lived experience.

Tickets for the 2020 Interdisciplinary Pain Education Day virtual conference are only $35.00 for health care providers, researchers and the general public, and are free for people in pain, students and anyone unemployed due to COVID-19. The registration fee includes access to all six live presentations and recordings. CME credit is pending for BC health care providers.

I look forward to seeing how the Interdisciplinary Pain Education Day continues to grow to meet the evolving needs and interests of health care providers, researchers, and people in pain. I encourage you to join us and to share this opportunity with your network.
Pain BC programs, resources and updates
The following programs and initiatives are funded, in whole or in part, by the Province of British Columbia: Coaching for Health, chronic pain management workshops for health care providers, Gentle Movement and Relaxation course, Live Plan Be, Making Sense of Pain, Pain BC's monthly webinars for health care providers, Pain Foundations, Pain Support and Wellness Groups, Pain Support Line and the Pain Waves podcast.
Giving to Pain BC as a provincial employee

Did you know the Provincial Employees Community Services Fund (PECSF) allows provincial government employees to give to registered charities through automatic payroll deductions?

As a registered charity, we rely on the generosity and commitment of donors to help fund our many programs and services. If you're a provincial government employee, please consider donating to Pain BC through the PECSF program. Your contribution will help us continue to provide accessible and safe options for care, movement, empowerment and connection for the 1 in 5 British Columbians living with pain. You can learn more about our work here.

More information on how provincial government employees can set up automatic payroll deductions online through PECSF is available here.
Pain Support and Wellness Groups: What's new this fall

We're excited to share that, beginning October 2020, our online Pain Support and Wellness Groups will be available in the Sea to Sky region! We've also added new dates for existing online groups and have expanded our "Vancouver Island" and "Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond" groups to allow more people living with pain in these communities to participate in an online meeting.

Pain Support and Wellness Groups offer an opportunity for people living with persistent pain to meet regularly online and build a community of support while learning about pain, pain management and coping strategies. Groups meet every second and fourth Tuesday of the month with alternating mid-day and evening sessions. Each two-hour session will allow participants to share their experiences, discuss self-management skills and take part in gentle movements as a group.

We greatly appreciate if you would help us get the word out to anyone who would benefit from participating in an online group.
Our supports for people with pain
Access our free pain self-management resources, including evidence-based articles, assessment tools, and an anonymous discussion forum.
Connect with a trained volunteer to talk about your pain, get help with finding a new physician, find information on community resources, and much more.
Join an online group and build a community of support while learning about pain, pain management and coping strategies.
Receive one-on-one phone support and mentorship from a coach who will help you learn about self-management, regaining function and improving your well-being.
Gentle Movement @ Home: Guided movement and relaxation for pain during COVID-19 (and beyond)

Gentle Movement @ Home online sessions provide guided movement and relaxation designed to help people with persistent pain learn to feel safe to move again. Topics include breath awareness and regulation, body tension regulation, and movement and relaxation techniques in both seated and standing positions.

37 session recordings are available and free to access on demand via our YouTube channel.
Upcoming Pain BC and partner workshops, webinars and courses for health care providers
2020 Interdisciplinary Pain Education Day: Virtual conference
Join Pain BC and Providence Health Care for an incredible day of learning about complex pain - all without leaving your office or home!

Date and time: October 23, 2020 from 9:00AM-4:00PM PST

Conference theme: Pain prevention and early intervention for chronic pain

Topics and presenters:
  • Pain advocate Keith Meldrum on "Understanding the lived experience of persistent pain"
  • Dr. Michael Negraeff on "Transitional pain and interdisciplinary team management"
  • Dr. Gillian Lauder on "The impact of nutrition on chronic myofascial pain"
  • Dr. Jill Osborn on "Neuromodulation and neuropathic pain"
  • Dr. Vishal Varshney and team on "Advances in the multidisciplinary management of CRPS"
  • Panel discussion: Approaches to opioid stewardship

This Group Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the British Columbia Chapter for up to 5 Mainpro+ credits. CME credits will be available only to BC providers who attend all six live presentations on October 23rd.

Online workshop: Chronic Pain Management for Registered Massage Therapists
This workshop provides RMTs with an opportunity to learn how modifications of traditional massage therapy practices can increase success and improve outcomes for people in pain.

Due to COVID-19, our workshops are now offered online via Zoom and are accessible to RMTs from any region of the province. Please note that, in its new online format, the course will be broken up into two-hour blocks and will be held over three days.

Upcoming dates:

  • September 25-27, 2020: Register now
  • November 20-22, 2020: Register now (Register before October 30 for the early-bird rate)
BC ECHO for Chronic Pain: Cycle 3 registration now open
Health care providers of all disciplines are invited to join our virtual community of practice to gain improved competence in providing care for complex pain cases. Cycle 3 begins on September 15, 2020 and will run until June 2021. Providers have the option to register for individual sessions or for the entire cycle. A full list of dates and topics can be found on our website.

Gentle Movement and Relaxation course
This free, online course will equip physiotherapists and other therapeutic movement professionals with practical knowledge and teaching resources to lead their own movement and relaxation programs for people living with chronic pain.

The Gentle Movement and Relaxation course is currently available to BC health care providers only.

Pain Foundations
This online course is designed to address the challenges faced by health care providers of all disciplines when assessing and treating people living with chronic pain. The course is free for health care providers in BC; a pricing structure for other geographical locations is coming soon.

Other programs, opportunities and resources
Free employment support for people with disabilities

The Neil Squire Society's Working Together program provides free support to people with disabilities who are seeking employment. The program can help with career and personal development, support with sharpening resumes and with job searches, and by providing many resources on distance learning technologies and developing/upgrading digital skills. Anyone interested is encouraged to find out more at the link below.
Accessibility Standards Canada Survey: Priorities for engagement, accessibility standards and research from 2020 to 2022

Accessibility Standards Canada is creating new standards for engagement, accessibility and research and would like to hear from people living with disabilities, caregivers, health care providers, organizations and all others with an interest in improving accessibility in Canada. The results of the survey will help inform future research priorities and the development of standards that aim to remove barriers to accessibility among federal government agencies.
New CPN PEER webinar series: Bringing patient engagement in health research and knowledge translation together
September 24, 2020 at 11:00AM PST

The Chronic Pain Network (CPN) is hosting a new, free Patient EngagEment in Research (PEER) webinar series that aims to apply a patient engagement lens on various topics related to scientific research. Its upcoming webinar on September 24, 2020 will discuss "Bringing patient engagement in health research and knowledge translation together" and will be led by two CPN patient partners, Mary Brachaniec and Lesley Singer. Participants will have opportunities to engage in discussion with presenters. The webinar series is primarily intended for research trainees but anyone with an interest in the topic is invited to attend.
Free CADTH webinar: Physical activity as a non-pharmacological approach to managing chronic pain
September 23, 2020 at 11:00AM PST

The Canadian Association for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) is holding a free webinar on September 23, 2020 to discuss physical activity as a non-pharmacological approach to managing chronic pain. Dr. Susan Tupper and a person living with pain will be among the speakers. The webinar is primarily geared towards health care professionals, researchers, educators and students but anyone with an interest is invited to attend.
Pain Society of Alberta 2020 Conference: Now online
October 17-18, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pain Society of Alberta has moved its 2020 annual conference online and will be held from October 17-18, 2020. This year's conference is free for all who wish to attend. A full list of topics, presenters and keynote speakers can be accessed on their website.
2020 Atlantic Pain Conference now online
October 16, 2020

The 2020 Atlantic Pain Conference will be held online on October 16, 2020. The conference will provide an update on pain management while highlighting the importance of taking an interdisciplinary approach when providing care for people living with chronic pain. The conference is intended for physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and all others with an interest in chronic pain. The conference is being offered at a reduced registration rate of $50 but people living with pain can attend for free by emailing
Research opportunities
Survey to understand how COVID-19 is impacting youth with chronic pain

Researchers from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) are interested in learning how COVID-19 has impacted youth living with chronic pain. Canadians aged 8 to 18 who live with chronic pain are invited to share their experiences through this short survey. Family members (e.g. parents, siblings) are also invited to participate.
Study on immersive multimedia experiences for cancer patients with chronic pain

The UBC School of Nursing and SFU School of Interactive Arts + Technology are looking for people with a current or past cancer diagnosis who also experience chronic pain to participate in a study that tests the use of immersive multimedia experiences as a form of pain management. Research participants will be able to complete the study from their home and will be provided with an honorarium for their time. More information on the study, including eligibility, can be accessed here. To apply, please contact Crystal Sun, Project Manager at
Research opportunity: Virtual care options for youth with pain and families

A new project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) aims to identify what virtual care options exist to support youth with pain and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Researchers are specifically looking for youth 15 to 25 years of age who live with pain and parents of a child aged 8 to 18 who lives with pain. The total expected time commitment is two hours and participants will be compensated for their time. Anyone interested is encouraged to contact the main researcher, Kathryn Birnie, at
Study: Investigating falls among people with chronic pain

If you are an adult living with chronic pain and have experienced a fall in the past year, a research team at Queen's University would like to learn more about your experience through this short survey.
In the news
Instagram account shares personal accounts of living with chronic illness and pain
A couple uses this Instagram account to share chronic illness, pain and mental health messaging through the use of alphabet boards.
When life gives you chronic illness lemons
A person living with chronic illness shares how she uses the "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" expression to remain optimistic and manage the daily challenges in her life.
Out of the shadows: Chronic pain in Canadian Armed Forces veterans
 This article summarizes the proceedings of a workshop at the Annual Forum of the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research and discusses how we can improve on the supports available for Canadian veterans and active service personnel living with chronic pain.
Toxicology and prescribed medication histories among people experiencing fatal illicit drug overdose in BC
A new journal article on overdose related deaths in BC finds "a high prevalence of non-prescribed fentanyl and stimulants, and a low prevalence of prescribed opioids detected on toxicology in people who died from illicit drug overdose."
How I got diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
A The Mighty contributor shares their experience of being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - a chronic condition that impacts more than 500,000 Canadians.
CBC Radio One Calgary host shares experience with chronic pain
In recognition of Arthritis Awareness Month, CBC Radio One Calgary host Doug Dirks shares his experience living with chronic pain after encountering numerous sports injuries as a young adult.
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